Nearly 500 new kosher certified items are expected to be showcased at the 21st edition of Kosherfest, which opens October 27th at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus NJ. A survey of newly kosher certified items in the past year shows that nearly 5,000 new items carry a kosher symbol, bringing the total of items certified kosher in the US to over 120,000. According to the Mintel Research Organization, kosher remains the most dominant feature on new food items. Many supermarkets that carried about 17,000 kosher items only five years ago are now featuring nearly 20,000 items that are kosher certified. An estimated 40% of a supermarket’s food products are kosher. Nearly 10,000 plants in the US produce kosher items but that number has risen only slightly as many of the new products are produced at plants that are already under supervision or are part of line extension, which again does not add any new plants. Kosher certification sources say that the number of kosher ingredients has grown even more dramatically to an estimated 350,000 items. The value of the kosher certified products is over $200 billion with the value of the ingredients topping $325 billion.Kosherfest’s annual New Products Competition is underway with non-perishables being submitted September 30th – October 1st and perishables due October 12-13. As in the past, a distinguished panel of judges will bestow honors on the best products in more than a dozen categories. The winners will receive their awards at Kosherfest.